CEOs are abandoning Trump's manufacturing council over his response to Charlottesville

Cornelia Mascio
Agosto 19, 2017

"In the end, I have concluded that Johnson & Johnson has a responsibility to remain engaged, not as a way to support any specific political agenda, but as a way to represent the values of Our Credo as crucial public policy is discussed and developed", Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said in a statement.

The president says on Twitter, "For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place".

William Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said he couldn't "think of a parallel example" of any president responding as viciously as Trump to a CEO departing an advisory council.

Merck CEO Ken Frazier quit President Trump's manufacturing business council on Monday, citing disatisfaction with Trump's lackluster response to violence that erupted after a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville over the weekend.

The gathering of hundreds of white nationalists took a deadly turn on Saturday when a vehicle plowed into a group of counter-protesters and killed at least one person. In a pair of tweets, Mr Trump accused Merck of raising "ripoff" drug prices and exporting jobs.

Trump insisted Tuesday that he would have no trouble replacing the departed members of the advisory council and dismissed them as "grandstanders".

Democrats and Republicans criticized Trump for waiting too long to address the violence - his first major domestic crisis as president - and for failing when he did speak out to explicitly condemn white-supremacist marchers who ignited the melee.

With the barbs, Trump appeared to attack an industry executive who has tried to make drug pricing somewhat more transparent by revealing his company's overall drug price changes.

The other three CEOs - Merck & Co.'s Kenneth Frazier, Under Armour Inc.'s Kevin Plank and Intel Corp.'s Brian Krzanich had resigned on Monday.

His exit marks another rebuke to Trump from corporate America.

About 500 anti-racism protesters rallied outside the White House, while others gathered outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.

At a news conference Tuesday in New York, Trump said "both sides" were to blame for the deadly violence.

FOX 7'S Rebecca Thomas and Mike Warren talked to "Travis County Democratic Party" chairman, Vincent Harding about how the African-American community felt about the president's handling of a very critical situation. "Following yesterday's remarks from the President, I can not remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative".

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, left the council earlier this year after Trump announced the US would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. "In this time of tumult in our country, Americans deserve a leader that will bring us all together and denounce those who seek to tear us apart".

Like several other corporate leaders, Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, said that intolerance and racism have no place in US society but that he meant to stay on the manufacturing council.

"President Trump's remarks today repudiate his forced remarks yesterday about the KKK and neo-Nazis", they added, referring to the Ku Klux Klan, an organization that advocates white supremacy and anti-Semitism.

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